LINCOLN, NE — The Millard North Mustangs navigated an unthinkable emotional rollercoaster to beat Lincoln Pius X 64-57 in a triple overtime Class A semifinal game at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
With tears in her eyes, Kaylee Kessler made the most important free throws of her life. The sophomore gave Millard North a one-point lead over Lincoln Pius X in double overtime with 0.2 seconds left, but her team thought it was over. They rushed the court and were whistled for a technical foul. Then, Pius senior Jadyn Greisen made one of two free throws to force a third overtime.
The Mustangs weren’t fazed. They calmly sank free throw after free throw in the third OT to secure entry to the Class A championship game.
Millard North used a 16-point third quarter to grab a five-point lead entering the fourth. The Thunderbolts used a 9-0 rally mid-way through the fourth to claw back in. Regulation ended 41-41.
The teams scored early in the first OT but cooled off to a 45-45 tie. Clutch free throws and the bizarre technical foul led to a 51-51 stalemate after two OT. More free throws sealed the win for Millard North.
The Mustangs will face Lincoln Southwest at 6:30 PM on Saturday. Millard North has never played in a state championship game.
Millard North… 6 – 10 – 16 – 9 – 4 – 6 – 3
Lincoln Pius X… 7 – 8 – 10 – 16 – 4 – 6 – 6
Millard North: Kraft 15, Avila-Ambrosi 13, Green 12, Bryant 8, Kessler 8, Danley 6, West 2
Pius X: Markowski 22, Sander 16, Greisen 12, Aschoff 5, Lewandowski 2